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Gosport pupils are ready to witness Vendee Globe boat race

CREATVE Children from Alverstoke Junior School get ready to meet the skippers of the British yachts taking part in the Vendee Globe yacht race after making a giant mermaid to mark the staging of the race. From left, Cristelle Gryte, Nadia Woodford and Isaac Mearns. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (123582-2)

CREATVE Children from Alverstoke Junior School get ready to meet the skippers of the British yachts taking part in the Vendee Globe yacht race after making a giant mermaid to mark the staging of the race. From left, Cristelle Gryte, Nadia Woodford and Isaac Mearns. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (123582-2)

 

CHILDREN from Gosport are getting ready to watch the start of the Vendee Globe race as part of a project about looking after the marine environment.

A group of Year 5 pupils from Alverstoke Junior School has spent the past year working with schools in France, Spain and Poland on a project to promote clean seawater. A group of 30 children will travel to Les Sables D’Olonne in France today and will watch the start of the race on Saturday.

The project, called Around the World – A Race for the Environment (Aware), has seen the children collectively produce a leaflet which they will give to sailors taking part in the race with tips about how to look after the ocean while they are at sea.

Richard Baker-Jones, project manager and a governor at the school, said: ‘As a school we are surrounded by water. So the quality of our water is something that’s quite crucial to the next generation and to the children who use it.

‘The children have done a survey of yachtsmen to find out about their usage of the Solent.

‘Other schools did the same and they have compared their results with the different oceans around them.’

British sailor Mike Golding, who is getting ready to take part in this year’s race, visited the school in September.

The pupils will follow his progress in the 12-week race, which is scheduled to finish in February.

Mr Baker-Jones, added: ‘They will be following the various skippers around the world.

‘It’s cross-curriculum from that point of view because they are looking at geography, the environment and the weather.

‘The children are very enthusiastic about it.

‘They have been amazing and really taken to it. I think they are fairly excited now.’

He said that the pupils had become a lot more aware about caring for the environment.

They made a giant mermaid out of litter that was washed up on the beach in Gosport, which they had collected.

‘They collected litter for a day so they are very conscious themselves now as to how much litter is on the beach,’ he added.

‘The litter problem and its effect on the environment is something they have become aware of.

‘Living here in Gosport quite a lot of the children are water users.

‘They have responded extremely enthusiastically.’

A smaller group of children will also travel to Poland in May to mark the end of the project.

 

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